Basquiat & Bohemian

Art & Culture | History | Restaurants

Referral-only hidden Japanese restaurant in a building with some serious Art History cachet

Basquiat Bohemian noho street art

About Basquiat & Bohemian

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • Step up to “57 Great Jones Street,” and you won’t see much! A black curtain hanging in the window; why? The curtain obscures the view into the super-exclusive “Bohemian” restaurant. So exclusive, you have to know someone who’s already eaten there to get a reservation!
  • Even if you lack the “inside track” to get into Bohemian, you CAN get some bohemian vibes from the outside! The building at “57 Great Jones Street” was once owned by Andy Warhol and also leased as a home/studio by Jean Michele Basquiat.
  • Originally constructed between 1860-68, the building had been a stable-turned-industrial-supply-shop until Warhol snapped it up. Andy Warhol owned “57 Great Jones” from 1970 to 1990.
  • Brooklyn-born Basquiat began his career as an anonymous graffiti artist, tagging NYC with the phrase “SAMO” (Same Old Shit). Next, he joined the Punk scene with a band called “Gray.” While playing clubs like CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, Basquiat became immersed in the downtown art scene. You could see him around this time in the excellent art house art flick “Downtown 81.”
  • Basquiat started dating Madonna in 1982 and met Warhol the same year. At this point, Basquiat was an “art world mascot,” internationally famous for his neo-expressionist paintings. 
  • Basquiat began renting space at “57 Great Jones” from Warhol in 1983, and the two would collaborate on an art show in 1985. Basquiat lived and worked in this space for five years until he died there of a heroin overdose in 1988, joining the “27 Club.” (A cultural phenomenon: famous musicians, artists, actors, and other celebrities who died at age 27.)

Carpe City Trivia

Did you know?

  • Bohemian wasn't the only restaurant to operate out of "57 Great Jones," and Basquiat wasn't the only person to die there.
  • In the early 1900s, "57 Great Jones" was one of the most notorious mob dens in New York. And in 1905, the address was home to the "Paul Kelly Association," also known as the "Little Naples Saloon." (Paul Kelly was actually mob boss Paolo Antonio Vaccarelli.)

By: Lucie Levine

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